Lövstabruk, Uppland, Exploring Sweden

Lövstabruk, Uppland – Exploring Sweden

Lövstabruk is a small village, and former company town, of around 100 inhabitants in the historical province of Uppland. Today it might be only a small part of the Tierp Municipality and Uppsala County, but the history is a lot grander. This was once the home of the largest ironworks in Sweden and even though the production has ceased, the village itself is today a memory of its glorious past.

A Short History of Lövstabruk

The Swedish crown established an ironworks at Lövsta at the end of the 16th century. In the 1620s, the production was leased to the Dutch merchants Willem de Besche and Louis De Geer. De Geer ended up as the sole owner of the company town Lövstrabruk and he purchased it from the state in 1643 together with the company towns of Österby and Gimo.

Russian forces burned down Lövstabruk in 1719 during the Russian Pillage. It was just one of several places along the eastern coast of Sweden that were destroyed during this time, it also included towns such as Nyköping and Trosa, together with several more. Also, nearby company towns such as Forsmark were destroyed.

However, Lövstabruk rose from the ashes and the ironworks, as well as the local mansion and the church, were rebuilt. The company town and the ironworks remained under the ownership of the De Geer family for the coming centuries, until 1986. The last forge was built here in 1887 and the production came to an end in 1926. The railway opened a train route to Lövstabruk about a month after the closure of the ironworks. The many closures of the company towns in the area at this time meant that the railroad’s expansion came to halt. The railroad was dismantled already in 1956. Also, the population was affected. There were 800 inhabitants at the beginning of the 20th century, the population was less than 200 in the 1960s and had dropped below 100 by 2010.

Things to Do and See

There are many things to see in Lövstabruk and in many ways the whole former company town is a sight all in itself. Here visitors can walk around along the former worker barracks, see the remains of the former ironworks, and always be close to the impressive mansion. There are few places that have been able to preserve the whole 18th-century atmosphere as well as Lövstabruk. Or maybe we should say Leufsta Bruk, which is the old spelling of the name.

Herrgården

Herrgården, or Lövstabruk Mansion, could well have been a royal castle. The old mansion was built in the early 17th century and was replaced a century later. The new mansion only survived until 1719 when Russian forces burned it down during the Russian Pillage.

The new and current mansion stood ready around the year 1725. The many surrounding buildings were then be completed part by part during the rest of the 18th century. With a few exceptions, the mansion has not changed much since the 18th century.

Herrgårdsparken

The park adjoining the mansion was established in the 18th century. Even though new ideas from Germany led to large changes during the 19th century, the garden has today been restored to the plans of its earlier years. It is today a large green area with a great view of the mansion.

Lövstabruk Church

The current church was inaugurated in 1727 and it has since stayed mostly untouched in regards to rebuilding and modernizations. It lies along the main roads through the village and is today a part of Hållnäs-Österlövsta Congregation.

Barnens Bruk

In the old mill, there is today “Barnens Bruk”. This is a kid-friendly activity in Lövstabruk with areas for play and learning. The old ironworks acts as an inspiration for all the activities.

Sweden Solar System: Uranus

Did you know that the world’s largest model of our planetary system is in Sweden? Lövstabruk plays an important part in this model, as it is the home of Uranus. It is located 146 kilometers from the sun, which is the “Globen”, currently known as Avicii Arena, in Stockholm. The model stretches all the way to the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna, where the termination shock is.

How to Get to Lövstabruk

Flights: The closest major airport is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 123 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
Car: Lövstabruk is along road 76 between Gävle and Östhammar.
Bus: Local and regional UL buses connect Lövstabruk with the surrounding region.
Train: Upptåget and SJ have train connections to and from nearby Tierp.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

Stockholm – 159 kilometers (1 h 59 min)
Gothenburg – 624 kilometers (6 h 27 min)
Malmö – 768 kilometers (7 h 49 min)
Linköping – 355 kilometers (4 h)
Kiruna – 1137 kilometers (13 h 5 min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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